13 June 2006

Risky business

It's clearly my lucky day for being offered commissions.

I'm halfway through preparing a quote to turn a bunch of speeches on financial matters into a book. I normally charge per hour but the commissioning editor wants a quote per article. There are around 15 manuscripts in total, which have all been transcribed, and I am tempted to offer a discount if she hires me to do them as a job lot. It's worth her while as she will get uniformity of house style if she employs only one person to do the job and from my end, I get more work and earn a reasonable fee.

A publisher that specialises in financial books of various kinds commissioned me at the start of the year to edit a book on investment banking and investing in China. It was an enjoyable project, if at times frustrating because of the level of the author's English. The author, as you might guess, was Chinese and although clearly fluent enough in spoken English to lecture on such matters in the US, was not so hot when it came to putting pen to paper. Actually, that job fell into my lap sideways - a man I know only online who is a member of my professional body (SfEP) originally took the job on, knowing a bit about finance. He quickly realised he was way out of his depth as he didn't have specialist knowledge of investment banking, which I do (I used to be a financial editor for an investment bank), so he passed the job on to me as a thank you for having given him some freelance work myself a couple of months earlier. I was also the only editor he knew who had the knowledge to do a proper job. I also managed to negotiate a better hourly fee than my poor colleague, because of my skill in this area. The publishing company was delighted and has now offered me two new books to edit! One is by a French author, the other by a German.

The French book arrives next week, which is going to be a tight squeeze as I have a few other jobs booked in. But I'm very keen to have the work from this particular company as they pay me very well, better than I would get from many publishers.

I'm still awaiting the last two chapters of the global development book. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever see the last of it! I'm also awaiting the chapters for the book on hypnotherapy case histories. And there is more copywriting work in the offing for my scientific client - a meeting looms on Thursday.

Somewhere, in the midst of all that, I await to hear from the magazine publisher about the editorship I want so much...

Whatever happens, I won't be short of work.

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